Residents in San Juan Capistrano got a chance to learn about water and their water bills – and give feedback to city officials Tuesday.
The city-sponsored water forum at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center was set up like an expo, with different stations to learn about water, the groundwater recovery plant, how to read the bill, how the city’s rates compare with neighbors and more.
Some of the more animated conversation – sometimes appearing outwardly frustrating – was at the table where residents could discuss their bills.
“The city staff just told us, ‘We know there’s a problem but we can’t fix it,’” said Mamie Yong Maywhort. “What’s the deal with that? What good are you if you know there’s a problem? Help the constituents.”
Maywhort’s beef was with the inconsistency of meter reading, causing her water bills’ amount due to undulate.
City customer service employee Stacie Sheek responded: “You feel the system’s broken. I don’t feel the system is broken.”
Meanwhile, resident Dave Solt said he supports the city’s efforts to tap into local groundwater.
“I think the groundwater recovery plant is a forward-looking project,” he said. “One only has to look at the Metropolitan Water District and its message to all the cities: 1) Your rates are only going up and up and up and, 2) We’re going to give you less water.”
Residents also had a chance to fill out a short survey as part of a new study to look at water rates. The survey is among the photos above of some of the displays. Chief Financial Officer Cindy Russell said readers can print it out, fill it out, then send it into the city or drop it off.